Intermountain Therapy Animals
Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) is a human service organization, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, headquartered in Utah, that brings the gift of animal companionship and interaction to people in need. Our mission is to enhance quality of life through the human/animal bond. Our volunteers (people and their own pets) make regular visits to those who are physically or developmentally disabled, emotionally or psychologically impaired, lonely or suffering from depression. All services are free of charge to both client and facility.
ITA therapy animals and their handlers are screened, trained, licensed and insured to participate in animal-assisted interactions (AAI), which may be either animal-assisted activities (AAA) or animal-assisted therapy (AAT). Successful teams have completed both health and temperament screening and volunteer training.
Serving our communities since 1993, we are one of the largest groups of our kind in the United States, with more than 350 volunteer teams doing animal-assisted therapy at more than 100 hospitals, counseling centers, nursing facilities, detention homes, extended care centers, and schools. Chapters of ITA now thrive in Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Kentucky. We also have affiliated colleague groups in 13 additional states.
We are also the founders of Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D.®), a literacy support program to foster in children the love of books and the reading environment. R.E.A.D. has spread throughout all 50 of the United States and at least 15 other countries since we launched it in 1999.